Neuralink, a company owned by billionaire businessman Elon Musk, raised US$ 205 million in a round of financing led by the Capital fund, based in Dubai, which includes the participation of Google Ventures, from Alphabet.
The company, founded in 2016, aims to implant wireless chips in the brain to help cure neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s, dementia and spinal cord injuries, and create a symbiosis between the human body and artificial intelligence. The technology, according to Musk, could allow paraplegics to walk again.
The resources will be used to launch your first product on the market. The company is expected to debut with the N1 Link, a neural recording device implanted in the brain with 1,024 electrodes with a data transmission device. “The first Neuralink product will allow someone with paralysis to use a smartphone with their mind faster than someone who uses their thumbs,” Musk tweeted in April.
In April, the company released a video showing a monkey playing “Ming Pong” without using a joystick. The researchers implanted the N1 link on both sides of the 9-year-old primate’s brain about six weeks before recording the video.
Before learning to play, the researchers taught the animal how to use the joystick. When he moved the cursor to the light-emitting block on the screen, he was rewarded with a banana smoothie sent through a straw.
The exercise allowed the Neuralink device in his brain to record his activity through more than 2,000 electrodes implanted in the area of the motor cortex, which coordinate the movements of his hands and arms.
The data was processed by the company’s decoder so that the expected movements of the primate’s hand could be predicted. After a few minutes of calibration, the program fully understood the animal’s neural pattern, so the monkey no longer needed the joystick to move the cursor to the block.